Q:

Are airline passenger lists publicly available?

A:

Quick Answer

Airline passenger lists, also known as passenger information lists are handled with strict confidentiality protocols and are not publicly accessible documents. This information is obtainable by certain authorities in connection with a criminal investigation. TSA security screenings, such as Secure Flight, compare similar information against no-fly lists.

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Full Answer

The passenger name record is a database record that contains itinerary information and details for each passenger on a flight. It is similar in scope to a passenger information lists or a passenger manifest. This data is necessary when a passenger has multiple connecting flights that are booked through different airlines. The passenger's general data is shared between airlines via a global distribution system, such as Amadeus, to coordinate travel arrangements and transfers.

Situations where passenger flight details are shared outside of the airline include the requirements of the Advance Passenger Information System established by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This information is required by certain countries prior to the passenger making an international flight.

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